A number of people have commented on the report saying they would like to keep the advanced settings available in the current KDE dialog. Let me start by saying I have no intention to reduce the number of settings just to make the dialog simpler. My goal is to give access to all settings in a way that will make the dialog simpler.

That being said, I’ll write some more about my progress. I’m currently trying to design a prototype of the dialog in KDevelop. Coming from a Java background, Qt is pretty straightforward. The documentation at techbase.kde.org and api.kde.org is very, very good. The only thing I’m missing is a page like A visual guide to Swing components: a quick (visual) overview of all components along with code examples, api documentation etc. I get the feeling that this information for Qt is spread out over a number of websites.

Another thing I noticed is the quality of QtDesigner. I’ve tried the Eclipse Visual editor thingy and the Netbeans Matisse editor, but always ended up doing the ui by hand. Because GridBagLayout isn’t as hard as it looks… But not with QtDesigner and KDevelop. The visual editor is good.

Here it is. Let the discussion begin…

KDE Printing dialog proposal v0.2

New metric

July 10, 2007

Inspired by the work on my report I want to introduce a new metric: “Screenshotness”. This metric applies to dialog panes and is defined as follows:

The screenshotness is the number of screenshots needed to capture the entire dialog.

To give an example: The current KDE print dialog has a screenshotness of one if you don’t include the tabs brought up by the “Properties” button. If you include that button the screenshotness goes up to 6: the original pane and the five tab panes.

The printing dialog of Gnome has a screenshotness of 4 as there are 4 tab panes in the dialog

Now comes the real beauty of this metric: The Mac OS X printing dialog can reach arbitrarily high screenshotness-values. Believe me.

I am currently working on a report about printing dialogs. The report will present the design I propose for the KDE print dialog. It will discuss a number of printing dialogs used by other major desktop environment, operating systems or applications.

The report is going well. Writing the text is not that hard, most of the ideas and results where allready there. Gathering screenshots for all the different dialogs is proving a bit harder, but nothing that cannot be done.

Tomorrow the report should be finished. I will make it public on this blog as a PDF file. My main hope is for the report to spark some discussion about my proposal and print dialogs in general. I am not a usability expert, so input from other people is all I have next to my own experience.